Title: Secondhand Origin Stories
Author: Lee Blauersouth
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publishing Date: 2018
Number of Pages: 364
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Science FIction
Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.
But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?
“Sausage and flapjacks OK?”
She refocused on her host. “That would be amazing. Thank you.” He gestured to a blond wooden table and chairs, and she sat as he headed into the kitchen. He was silent for a few minutes, digging through the fridge. Opal took the chance to focus on the fact that she was in Capricorn’s house. He was making her breakfast. Mom was gonna kill her. She’d always had such a crush on Capricorn.
He wasn’t anyone Opal would ever have a crush on, but he was a black, gay superhero, and she felt as giddy about him as she would a crush. He’d been a beacon for her her whole life. He was the hero of the whole Detroit line. Everyone else in the first generation of the Detroit line had been kidnapped, forced into experimentation by a rogue biologist trying to create a system for mass-produced alteration. Even though people had tried it all over the world, and it didn’t work. When you messed with genes without customizing your alterations to the genes the person already had, you just caused more problems. Most people died. Opal guessed that particular evil scientist must have gotten closer than most, given how many did survive, but still – a ton of people died.
Capricorn was the only one who’d gone in deliberately. He’d risked the alternation, and used his new superpowers to save everyone else. What could possibly be more superheroic than that?
His voice was easy when he piped up from where he was, his head in the fridge. “So. What brings a fellow Detroit altered to Sentinel Plaza so early in the morning?”
“Well, first a train. Then a bus. I still haven’t made it to my cousin’s place yet.”
He gave an amused huff. “Well, Ms—?”
“Flynn?” He straightened up. “Bet you’re Nick Flynn’s girl, then.”
Opal was touched. She knew her dad’s “trial” had gotten a lot of press, but it was a long time ago, now. It was good to know a hero like Capricorn remembered. She nodded.
He nodded, opening a package of sausages and starting up the burner. “Staying long?”
Opal licked her lips. Was there something implied in his question? It felt like there was an answer he was expecting. “Maybe. It depends.”
“On?” He threw a couple sausages onto the pan. Yeah, he was definitely expecting some particular answer.
“Work, mostly. I’ve got a basic job lined up, with my cousin, but…” This time he made a general listening sound, but didn’t say anything else. Waiting for her to elaborate, and say what he was expecting. She let the silence stretch a little longer, but broke eventually. “I was hoping to book an appointment to try out for the Sentinels, actually. Since you’ve been down by one for a while now.”
Her heart was in her throat. She’d only been in the city like an hour, and already almost got shot trying to accomplish this. She felt isolated and over her head enough, she had to keep moving forward. He sighed, and she realized that actually had been the answer he was expecting. He poked a sausage with a fork, then turned to her, leaning his hip on his kitchen counter. “Mm-hmm.” He crossed his arms. “Thought I detected that on you.” His eyes were uncomfortably penetrating. Evaluating. “I’ve seen ones like you before. Sometimes. Sol was one, actually. Long time ago. You got stars in your eyes.”
Her return smile was crooked. “I don’t mind being compared to Helix.”
After about a decade of drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to endure, with their lovely wife/editor, the world’s most perfect baby, and books in every room of the house.
If you like categories, they’re an ENFJ Slytherin Leo. If you’re looking for demographics they’re an agender bisexual with a couple of disabilities. If you’re into lists of likes: Lee loves comics, classical art, round animals, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff.
Find her on:
23 April (Monday)
- Secondhand Origin Stories blog tour launch (via That Bookshelf Bitch)
- Excerpt from Stuffed Shelves
- Feature post from Candid Ceillie
- Review and feature post from The Backwards Bookshelf
- Review from Crimson Blogs
- Review from Samantha House
24 April (Tuesday)
- Excerpt from Not Just Fiction
- Excerpt from Utopia State of Mind
- Feature post from Unputdownable Books
- Review from That Bookshelf Bitch
- Review from Bookish and Awesome
- Review from Cliste Bella
- Review from wallflower’s plight
25 April (Wednesday)
- Excerpt from BookMyHart
- Excerpt from The Nerdy Elite
- Review from Candid Ceillie
- Review from F A N N A
- Review from forthenovellovers
- Review from Igniting Pages
- Review from Spines in a Line
26 April (Thursday)
- Excerpt from Provocatrix
- Review from Bookish Wanderess
- Review from bookishwisps
- Review from Flying Paperbacks
- Review from TheHufflepuffNerdette
- Review from My Reading List
- Review from Unputdownable Books
27 April (Friday)
- Author interview on That Bookshelf Bitch
- Excerpt from Afire Pages
- Feature post from Cliste Bella
- Review from The Book Maiden
- Review from The Little Miss Bookworm
- Review from Reader Fox and a Box of Books
- Review from The Youngvamp’s Haven
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